Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books influenced you the most as a child?
Little House on the Prairie and Stuart Little.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
Janette Oke for her gentle, timeless stories, Francine Rivers for her tremendous ability to write captivating, poignant tales and expose the heartache and emotions of her characters.
Who are your heroes?
My husband & John Wayne
How did you become a published author?
I wanted to be a writer since High school, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I began taking serious steps to get to the goal. I joined a local writer’s group and ACFW, (an online writing organization), joined a critique group, read writing how-to’s and attended writing conferences. I met my first agent at the ACFW Nashville Conference. We hit it off at our meeting, and she gave me some tips on making my book series “bigger.” I did that and submitted my idea to her and she took me on. We shopped my Seasons of the Tallgrass series for a year and had a few bites (one of them Zondervan) but no sale. In the end, she released me, which was a real heart breaker. However, we don’t always see the big picture like God does, and six months later I signed with agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary, and we had an offer from Zondervan three months after that.
Where did you get your inspiration for Seeds of Summer?
Years ago, I took a Flint Hills Folklife summer course at Emporia State University that was taught by Dr. Jim Hoy. Along with classroom study, we took field trips into the heart of the Flint Hills and visited with old-time ranchers, schoolmarms and post-mistresses. It was such a delightful experience, especially our drives into the pastures. We would get on these back roads and drive over pasture guards into the open range. We would travel for miles without seeing another car or even an electric line—just pure, native prairie. That summer, I fell in love with the Flint Hills and it has stayed with me all this time. I’m so glad I have this chance to share this place with my readers through the Seasons of the Tallgrass series.
Did you model any characters or experiences in the book from reality?
Not really, although I think all authors use some of their life experiences to help them tell their stories. Capturing those emotions or memorable moments is what makes ours stories come alive and ring true to our readers.